The Oklahoma State Senate welcomed Miss Oklahoma 2006 Lindsey Miller and Miss America 2007 Lauren Nelson to the floor of the Senate Monday.
Senate Resolution 18, authored by Sens. Brian Crain and James A. Williamson, was presented to the new Miss Oklahoma Lindsey Miller commending her for her many talents.
"It is such a privilege and honor to be here at the State Capitol as well as taking over as the new Miss Oklahoma," said Miller. "I''m going to continue speaking about my platform, which is mentoring with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Organizations and I'm also going to speak to students about positive image, self-esteem and about winning every single day, about doing what's right and doing their best and not giving up. That's the message that I'm taking to school students here in Oklahoma."
The 23-year-old, a graduate of Oral Roberts University, currently resides in Tulsa. She has been traveling and speaking to school students for over a month.
"Lindsey is an outstanding student and vocalist but more importantly, she's an incredible, loving and generous human being. She is a shining example for those around her and Getting was so grateful that she could take time out of her busy schedule to come share a few words with us," said Crain, R-Tulsa. "We wish her the best during her reign."
Miller, while attending ORU, was a Collegiate All-American Scholar, a member of Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, the Dean's List, and the President's Honor Roll. She anchored her college news station and produced a nationally syndicated women's talk show, "Make Your Day Count". She also sang on a nightly television program, "The Hour of Healing".
"We are so proud of Lindsey and her message to Oklahoma's youth," said Williamson. "Our kids today are faced with so many more pressures than we were at their age - pressures to look and act a certain way. It's wonderful that Lindsey is using her role as Miss Oklahoma to address this issue and help build self-esteem in our youth."
Nelson, a Lawton native, was also presented with SR 19 congratulating her for her victory at the Miss America pageant. The resolution was authored by Sens. Don Barrington, Randy Bass and Clark Jolley along with Reps. Don Armes (R-Faxon), Ann Coody (R-Lawton), Joe Dorman (D-Rush Springs), T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) and Ken Miller (R-Edmond).
"My homecoming has been one of the events that I've been looking forward to since the night that I was crowned," said Nelson. "I can't think of a better year for us to have back to back Miss America's than our centennial right here in Oklahoma. It's such an honor to represent the State of Oklahoma."
"Lauren is a tremendous role model. She has put tremendous emphasis on living Christian values, being guided by the Scripture, and praying before programs during her travels," said Barrington, R-Lawton. "That's the kind of message our youth need to be hearing and we applaud her efforts and thank her for sharing her message with us today."
Nelson, the daughter of Mark and Sherrell Nelson, is a sophomore music theater major at the University of Central Oklahoma where she is preparing for a career as a Broadway performer.
"The University of Central Oklahoma is proud to have one of its own attain such a high honor," said Jolley, R-Edmond. "Edmond is more than happy to adopt her as an Edmondite as she pursues her education. We're thrilled that yet another example of excellence with Edmond ties is visible from the world's stage."
Oklahoma is one of only three states to claim Miss America winners in consecutive years and is now tied with two other states boasting a total of six Miss Americas. The 20-year-old Nelson, who was also Miss Teen Oklahoma 2004, is the 80th Miss America to be crowned.
"Oklahoma has a long standing tradition in the Miss America pageant and we are so proud of Lauren for keeping that tradition alive," said Bass, D-Lawton. "I applaud her for her efforts to bring awareness to Internet safety. This is an issue that Governor Henry and the Oklahoma legislature have been working very hard to address, and it's assuring to know that we have such a bright, young woman fighting this battle with us but on a much larger scale."
Although her personal platform is Internet safety and protecting kids online, her national platform is serving as the National Goodwill Ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network, a group of over 170 hospitals nationwide that helps over 17 million children a year. Nelson brought a special guest, four-year-old Kristin Lepard, to the floor with her.
Lepard is the daughter of Shawn, a lobbyist at the Capitol, and Stephanie Lepard. Kristin was diagnosed with a Wilm's cancer tumor in her kidney in September 2006, but because of the care she received at the Jimmy Everest Children's Cancer Center at the OU Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City, Kristin will soon be cancer free. Her last chemo treatment is Friday.
"Seeing the humanity of people and how much they care has helped our family get through this challenge," Shawn said. "This was awesome for Kristin and her sisters. For her to feel so special gettingg to meet Miss America - we know she's going to okay."